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In our theatres

In this issue of Aspire we caught up with Mark Hinchcliffe, Programme Office Manager, (pictured above right) to talk about the work our Quality Improvement team do. At ASPH we are aiming to have a culture of ‘curiosity and creativity’ that is fair, open and supportive.  One of the ways we are creating  this culture is to have an approach to quality improvement  that develops capacity and capability for individuals and teams to lead and make improvements for themselves.

The programme management team are here to support all the quality improvement activities in the Trust, however large or small and, although we are a small team, we have a large skill set that we can use to help colleagues get projects underway.

We work closely with clinical teams and with the Trust leadership teams to support and facilitate improvement projects that are focussed on some of our biggest challenges; quality, safety, efficiency and patient experience.  But we also help with coaching and improving the way teams work together to achieve common goals.  

We provide training and support with problem solving for teams and individuals, and we are here to help anyone in the organisation to make changes through our ‘Be the Change’ programme.

We are really lucky to work in a caring and compassionate organisation and our approach to quality improvement reflects and harnesses these strengths.  We have great support from the leadership team who are keen to encourage experimentation and innovation to deliver better care and patient experience. Last year we agreed a strategy for quality improvement, which describes how we would work with teams to be creative, innovative and find ways to improve their services.

Our aims are:

  1. To continually improve the care given to our patients
  2. To contribute to an organisational culture of ‘curiosity and creativity’
  3. To strengthen teams and build collective leadership for improvement

We recently appointed Dr Keefai Yeong as the Trust’s first Clinical Lead for Quality Improvement.  Most people will know the role Keefai has played in recent years in leading the Doctors Advancing Patient Safety (DAPS Global) programme and in supporting quality and patient safety projects across the organisation. We are really pleased that he will be joining the team to provide strong clinical leadership to QI projects, programmes and other patient safety initiatives. 


Our PMO Team

Above from left to Right: Sally Greensmith, Ria Wright, Katherine Gumbs, Rebecca Matthews, Gillian Nelson and Mark Hinchcliffe.


Case Study - Improving Surgical Clerking Documentation

Surgical clerking, is the primary documentation taken on first contact with a patient by our surgical team.  It is a vital source of information in ascertaining the presenting condition and a patient’s history.

During the summer of 2016 some of our junior doctors working within surgery at ASPH noticed that there was a great deal of variation between the quality and comprehensive nature of surgical clerking, as there was no standardised layout or structure to guide the doctor as to all the necessary documentation. 

The team decided to pilot the introduction of a standardised form which would be simple and logical to follow and brightly coloured to be easily identified.  Since re-auditing, the improvements to the documentation has been 100%. 

Along with feedback from colleagues that the proforma helped focus junior doctors’ clerking, it ensured all the information was in one place, and was being used widely with our surgical teams. Since August 2016, this has been routinely used for clerking of surgical patients and has become accepted practice by all juniors, for all patients.  It is strongly supported and championed by both consultant and nursing staff.  Re-audit is planned to take place October 2016.


Case Study - ED Assembly

Another initiative to come out of the ‘Be the Change’ programme is the Emergency Department Assembly. Dr Asim Nayeem, one of our ED Consultants - who has also just been shortlisted for a ‘WOW’ award 2016 in the category of 'Supporting the Front Line' - is passionate about Quality Improvement.

He wanted to create a culture of ‘curiosity, creativity and inclusiveness’ to bring about positive changes within our ED. With the help of the team, he came up with the idea to hold a weekly ED Assembly, a meeting with the aim to discuss innovation and change in the department.

The meeting is open to all, and held regularly. The ED Assembly has been so successful it has been rolled across the Trust with several areas/departments adopting this idea, including Paediatrics and the Acute Medical Unit (AMU).